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Majella Audio Implexus

Synthesizer By Simon Sherbourne
Published October 2022

Majella Audio Implexus

The Majella Implexus is a beautifully made synth with a foot on both coasts.

The Implexus is a desktop analogue synth that combines elements from the synthesis schools loosely labelled as West Coast and East Coast. But never mind that for the moment — just look at it! On arrival the Implexus immediately got the household vote as the most beautiful object in the studio. Chunky steel‑shafted knobs and switches sit on a warm, smooth aluminium wrap‑around panel, finished with handmade oak cheeks. Glowing orange radial indicators accompany the primary knobs and selector pots. It’s gorgeous.

The Implexus comes with a pro instrument price tag, and a pro instrument it is. It’s as solid as it looks, has a built‑in power supply and balanced quarter‑inch audio connections. There’s full‑size MIDI and USB. As well as having a split East/West personality, it identifies fluidly between a standalone performance instrument and a modular team player. Viewed from the front it’s self‑contained, but tucked around the back there’s a Eurorack‑friendly jack field.

Coast To Coast

The Implexus is an analogue monosynth following the familiar scheme of oscillators, filter, envelopes and LFOs. It’s simple to understand and use thanks to the clearly labelled, one‑knob‑per‑function panel. Where it carves its own path is in pairing a typical ‘Basic’ sine/square/saw oscillator with a West Coast (that’s to say Buchla) style ‘Complex’ tone generator section that creates harmonically rich sounds by folding and shaping a simple sine wave.

Typically, East Coast synthesis is subtractive, using filters to sculpt tones from a harmonically intense starting point; while a West Coast synth or patch builds tone from the ground up. Rather than just mashing these two approaches together in parallel, the Implexus crosses the streams by routing the Complex Generator module through the filter, and providing cross‑modulation from the Basic Generator. But does this add up to something that sounds good? Short answer: yes. For the longer answer... let’s take a closer look.

The heart of the Implexus Complex Generator is a sine oscillator with a big octave dial and fine tuner. (A built‑in tuner can be switched between the two oscillators and shows you the delta between the current note and standard A=440Hz). Even before you get to the Harmonics and Folder sections, you can start messing with the basic sine wave using the Linear FM control. This introduces pitch modulation from the second oscillator, with fairly subtle results unless the tuning is offset between the oscillators.

The initial signal passes first through the Harmonics section which is a waveshaper, adding either odd or even harmonics depending whether it’s dialled to the left or right. This nudges the tone toward either a square or sawtooth wave. The Mod Envelope can be applied to this control, as can LFO 1. Next up is the Folder, which progressively warps the signal with the characteristic complex, metallic signature of this process. Again there’s an envelope depth control here, and also Bias, which sweeps the symmetry of folding and produces a wide variation of harmonic textures.

Mixer & Filter

The two‑person Majella Audio team hand‑build Implexi in their workshop in the Netherlands. And by ‘hand‑build’ I don’t mean ‘assemble’; we’re talking machining, cutting and chiselling as well as soldering. The end result feels like a truly premium instrument, in the way that a high‑end guitar is different to an inexpensive production‑line model.The two‑person Majella Audio team hand‑build Implexi in their workshop in the Netherlands. And by ‘hand‑build’ I don’t mean ‘assemble’; we’re talking machining, cutting and chiselling as well as soldering. The end result feels like a truly premium instrument, in the way that a high‑end guitar is different to an inexpensive production‑line model.

Majella Audio ImplexusMajella Audio ImplexusA simple mixer section blends the two sound generation sections into the filter, along with a square‑wave sub that runs an octave below the Complex...

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